Anyone can help document participatory initiatives by publishing and editing crowdsourced entries on participedia.net.
Participedia is a crowdsourcing platform and global network for researchers, educators, practitioners, policymakers, activists, and anyone interested in public participation and democratic innovations. Our active community of contributors use the site to study and design effective methods of citizen engagement. The site is currently available in seven languages, and features two key types of contributors: Publishers and Editors.
Many people who publish new entries on Participedia are students, practitioners, or organizers of participatory events. Students may be assigned course work that involves researching and documenting participatory initiatives, such as this collection developed by graduates of the Coady International Institute at St. Francis Xavier University. Practitioners and activists use the site to document and publicize methods, cases, and organizations.
People who publish entries on Participedia benefit from increased discoverability of their work, while also contributing to a collaborative effort to document participatory initiatives. The content that “participedians” contribute makes it possible for others to explore a large and diverse database of inspiring case examples and the methods that inform them.
Key Considerations for Publishers
Use the site in your preferred language. New entries are automatically translated into all supported languages, but only the first time they are published. Read more about how translations works in our faq.
Participedia contains three entry types: cases, methods, and organizations. Read more about entry types in our faq.
Like Wikipedia, Participedia is focused on documentation rather than persuasion or opinion.
All content must be cited so readers can fact-check original sources.
Contributions should draw from credible sources whenever they are available, such as academic papers, reports, official evaluations, official websites of organizations involved, or news outlets.
The project’s staff editors review Participedia content, curate collections, and flag entries with editing prompts such as level of completeness and whether the content requires citations. In addition, all users are encouraged to assist in improving Participedia entries made by other contributors. This could include, for example, things as basic as improving grammar and readability, revising translations of entries that have been machine-translated into other languages, and adding images or links to supporting documents and relevant websites. Users with relevant subject-matter expertise are invited to make substantive changes to entries.
Key Considerations for Editors
Use the site in your preferred language. All fixed-data changes are applied across all languages, and text changes are applied in your language only. Read more about how translations work in our faq.
On the search page, use the search filter called “entry completeness” to find entries listed as stubs, partially complete, or content that needs citations. For example here are cases that are flagged as stubs.
Add information or images related to a participatory event you attended
Use search filters to look for cases that took place near you. After doing research, add more content to those entries. For example, an entry might benefit from links to supporting documents and external websites.
Click the floating, red “edit” icon on any entry to get started.
We look forward to welcoming you as a publisher or editor on Participedia.net! Once you get started, you can find all your contributions on your profile page.
Organizations are profiles of formal and informal groups that design, implement, or support innovations in participatory politics and governance. Please read our guidelines on how to write an organization.
Collections consist of Participedia entries that share common traits, such as association with a large-scale initiative, institution, or specific topic. Case, method, and organization entries are added to collections by Participedia team members. If you have a suggestion for a new collection, please contact us.
Surveys are supplementary to Participedia’s current data and narrative descriptions, and are intended to gain further insight on the outcomes and effects of cases. Completed surveys are linked to corresponding cases. See the Research page for more information about surveys.
To access an account from an older version of Participedia (prior to 2019), you will need to reset your password using the same email address that you used to login on the old website. Click “Login,” and enter your email address. Then, click “Forgot your password?” and follow the prompts to access your original account and content. Please contact us if you need assistance.
Once you are signed in, you can create content by clicking the “quick submit” button from the main menu and choosing the type of article you would like to create. Please review our guidelines on how to write Participedia entries or contact us for more information.
On an entry page there are three fields that are filled with user-generated free form text. We call these ‘Open Text’ fields, and they are the Title, Brief Description and Narrative. The rest of the fields are either numbers, dates, or fixed options—we call these ‘Fixed Data’ fields.
When an entry is published for the first time, we machine-translate the Open Text fields into all of the other supported languages. From this point on, the Open Text fields exist as fully separate (i.e. “forked”) versions for each language, while the Fixed Data fields are synchronized between all languages. If you change a Fixed Data field while viewing the site in any language, that change will be seen on the entry page for all languages. However, if you change the Title, Brief Description or Narrative text, those changes will be saved to only the Open Text of the language in which you are writing.
Please click the floating ‘edit’ button located at the bottom right of the page to add information or improve machine-translations for any entry.
To view and edit an entry in another language, use the drop-down language selector found on the top menu bar and footer of the site to change your preferred language.
To publish, view and edit an entry in another language, use the drop down language selector found on the top menu bar and footer of the site to change your preferred language.
If the language you wish to enter is not yet supported on our site, please contact us to request it. In the meantime, you can use the English version of the site to submit your entry. In this case, please indicate the language in square brackets in the title of the entry, for example, “Your entry title [Your language]“.
Navigate to the search page from the site menu, or use the search bar at the top of any page to conduct a site-wide keyword search. Once your search results are displayed, you can sort them by content type such as cases, methods, or organizations. You can further filter results for cases, methods or organizations using the filters button.
To conduct an advanced keyword search, use the following syntax in the search bar:
AND: bicycle and rally (this is the default, so the same as bicycle rally) will return items which match both words
OR: bicycle or rally will match items with either or both words
NOT: bicycle not rally will match items which contain bicycle, but only if they do not also contain rally
QUOTES: "womens rights" will return items that have womens followed by rights
PARENTHESES: (bicycle or rally) and (womens rights and UK) will will group logical operations inside the parentheses as a group before applying the operators joining groups
When logged in, click your profile avatar in the top right-hand corner of the screen to visit your profile page. From there you can access your bookmarked content under the “Bookmarks” tab. Only you can see your bookmarked content.
All new entries are auto-saved as soon as any data is entered in the form. If you start an entry, but don't want to publish it right away, there's no need to click save. You can enter as much data as you want in the form, and close the browser window. Once you create a draft, your drafts will be accessible on your profile page under the “drafts” tab, as well as on the Quick Submit page. You can login on any device and access your drafts. Using the “preview” button in the entry form, you can see what an entry will look like once it is published. If you wait to publish your entry until it is more complete, the description and narrative text will be translated into all supported languages. (We only run translation once, the first time an entry is published - see: “How does translation work?”)
To prevent spam entries being published, we require users to request to publish or make edits to entries on Participedia, and these requests are approved (or blocked) by website administrators. This can take up to a few days, as it is done manually by our team. Once approved, subsequent changes will publish immediately.